In terms of general profile, Reaktor is way down the list of priorities for NI. It's not even that easy to find it on their website. Nonetheless, it is apparent that NI are aware of how important it is to their geek image. The users of such bit-head development tools push the bleeding edge and drive a good deal of the culture around their other products. It's good to see that such support is appreciated.
Reaktor is an incredible software tool for building software instruments out of individual components, and then assembling the perfect ensemble of instruments for performance. It has been an essential part of my tool-kit for many years. In the world in which I compose, most prefer Max/MSP, generally out of lack of familiarity with any alternative. But when I was first looking for such a tool, more than a decade ago, Reaktor was far superior in terms of its interface and usability, while Max had the edge in terms of programmability and hardware interfaces.
According to the release notes, Reaktor 5.6.0 contains:
* 64 Bit support for Windows and OSX
* Added breadcrumb navigation to structure
* Improved navigation concept
* Added searchbox (Win: CTRL-F, OSX: CMD-F) to add modules
* New module reference and 5.6 manual addendum
* Scrolling of structures with Alt+Drag over structure
* Added hide frame and transparency property to XY module
* Added drag copy to other structure view
* Recorder shows recorded time while recording
* Add abort function to file not found dialog on project recall
* Improved loading time for ensembles with many Send/Receive terminals
* PNG file support for picture modules
* Updated start templates
* Added shortcut info to tooltips
* Changed keyboard shortcuts
It's definitely the first of these that makes the download worthwhile. 64-bit support should increase performance and allow for larger ensembles. I'll test this soon and report back.
The new keyboard shortcuts are:
* Toggle Edit mode: F1
* Toggle horizontal split: F2
* Toggle vertical split: F3
* Toggle properties view: F4
* Back: Alt+B
* Delete selected modules and/or wires: Backspace or Delete
* Navigate to parent folder in browser tree view:Left arrow
* Show macro content in other pane: Alt+doubleclick on macro
* Duplicate: Win: Ctrl+drag module(s), OSX: Alt+drag module(s)
The download is a substantial .5GB and will over-write any changes you have made to core files. If you get a slow download, it is best to cancel and try again. My first attempt would have taken an hour but my second completed in about ten minutes. Obviously the NI servers will be sending out thousands of copies of this much-anticipated file over the next few days.